When is a yellow rubber duck worth a thousand words? Facebook walks like a news publisher and quacks like a news publisher; must be a news publisher. No surprise here: Venture capitalist research features their portfolio companies. But what of disclosure? Marketing with social bookmarking. Social media innovation is alive and well. And IPR is on iHeartRadio.  Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackles these issues in this episode of the Inside PR podcast.

Yellow Rubber Duckie?

The giant yellow duck that visited the Toronto Waterfront on Canada Day underlined that, even in this digital world, old-fashioned, real life stunts still pay off.

Inside PR is on iHeartRadio

This may be self-serving, but we want to tell you that Inside PR is available on iHeartRadio. We know that one of you found us – because in the three episodes since we arrived on iHeartRadio, we have had exactly ONE download of each episode of iHeartRadio. We love you whoever you are. And if you are our lone iHeartRadio subscriber, let us know, because we want to give you a shoutout on the next episode.

Social media innovation is alive and well

You may think that the glory days of social media innovation ended when Facebook became dominant. However, a recent Marketing Land post reminded us that the pace of change in social media is still rapid. Change is the new normal. But so much change this year.

No surprise here. Research by venture capitalists may focus on their investment portfolio

Tom Webster of Edison Research published a critical analysis of the Mary Meeker Internet Trends report. He didn’t question her observations. But he did point out that the growth examples that she profiled tended to be Kleiner Perkins investments. There’s nothing wrong with this. But it does beg the question of adequate disclosure. As Webster says, “take the report for what it is — an extremely effective piece of content marketing, promoting the trends and interests of a company selectively invested in the space.” PR people are familiar with the FTC rules governing disclosure of sponsored posts. Would Mary Meeker’s presentation at the Code Conference have passed this test? No one is questioning Meeker’s ethics. But the fact that the highlighting of Kleiner Perkins investments was not explicitly spelled out for the average observer does provide a cautionary example.

Marketing with Social Bookmarking

Gini and Joe have been longtime advocates of social bookmarking as a tool, as a means of contributing to the community, and as a way to make transparent our interests and our research. So, we were happily surprised to see the name of Martin’s latest Lynda.com course – Marketing with Social Bookmarking. Martin talks with us about the course and we exchange tips about how we get the most out of social bookmarking. Yes, this is a shameless plug for our co-host, Martin Waxman.

Facebook adjust its news feed algorithm, reinforcing its role as a news publisher

Facebook’s recent adjustment to its news feed algorithm underlines again that Facebook is a news publisher, not just a neutral conduit, and they have an obligation to serve the public good. Follow us here. When you…

  • Boast a “news feed value” that states that “News feeds should be informative,” (All the news that’s fit to print?)
  • Call out “a tiny group of people … who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day, effectively spamming people’s feeds,” (letters to the editor?)
  • Suggest that, “Our research shows that the links they share tend to include low quality content  such as clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation.” (editorial judgment)
  • State baldly that, “We want to reduce the influence of these spammers,” and you adjust your news feed algorithm to suppress distribution of their posts,

…you have committed an editorial act on a par with the editor of any newspaper. You are not just a platform or a conduit, you are a news publisher with all the responsibilities to society and the obligations that status carries with it. Facebook, it’s time to step up, admit that you are a news publisher and accept all of the responsibilities that come with that status.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.


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Thank you to the people behind Inside PR. Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

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